It's your name and you can arbitrarily pick characters to be your name.
We Chinese generally select characters with positive meanings (of course, I think characters with negative meanings would not be the choice for most people) and avoid possible bad meanings from the words with the same or similar pronunciation with the name.
For example, it's common to ...
This is actually a common problem in newspapers and television in Singapore, where the original report may have been filed by a reporter who did not or cannot use Chinese. In these cases, the author simply chooses phonetically matching characters to fill in the name of the person, then add (音) or (译音) to indicate that the name shown is only a phonetic ...
In a previous post "How do we choose the correct characters for a westerner name?", I listed some characters that I think are popular in names nowadays. Remember, characters don't express the gender, so there are only some "rough clues" to guess the gender of the person.
One example would be “芳”, which means "fragrance,good smell".It's very common to be ...
Q1: Could I use a character like 飂 for my name?
Yes. In fact, you can freely choose any character for your name. However, for whether it is a good Chinese name, there may be many criteria. The most important criteria are supposed to be:
Elegant meaning. 飂 is a good one, meaning gone with the wind and implying a noble, unsullied, lofty, and proud character ...
You're right, most foreign words are transliterated differently in Mandarin and in Cantonese. Sometimes there are even different standards in different Mandarin speaking regions. It's an interesting idea to use characters that have similar pronunciations in both dialects to unify the transliteration but it's not what has already happened.
A few examples of ...
Unless the name has a really old and/or well-known phonetic translation, a "safe" rule seems to be to pick characters pronounced in the 1st tone. This is particularly true for names that are either long, uncommon, or otherwise tongue-twisting (as far as Chinese speakers are concerned anyway).
Male vs Female
Certain characters convey masculinity (e.g....
Is pretty much the Chinese equivalent of John Doe.
There's the well known phrase 张三李四 which means:
any Tom, Dick, or Harry (ABC)
any man in street (Oxford)
张三 is the first part of the phrase and you could totally use it as a name. 李四 like-wise would also work; there are two other names: 王五 and 赵六 that are mentioned in this word: 张三，李四，王五，赵六 ...
C for Cristiano
罗 for 罗纳尔多 (Ronaldo)
Apparently before him:
Ronaldo (罗纳尔多) (Luís Nazário de Lima) was known as 大罗
Ronaldinho (罗纳尔迪尼奥) was called 小罗
So, with big (大) and little (小) already taken, the first letter of his first name was given to him instead.
As for 朗 vs. 罗:
It seems that 朗 is Cantonese (Hong Kong, Macao) while 罗 is Mandarin (Mainland, ...
Or do all Chinese names have only one possible reading in Mandarin?
Apart from first names (when 多音字 (polyphone) is used they might pronounce differently), even for the last names, there're some (not much) with different pronunciations. Note that these names with different pronunciations almost means different origins. That means you have to confirm ...
In my experience, it mostly depends on two things:
What's the meaning of the characters? Flowers, plants, beautiful things in general are used for women's name. If the radical of one of the characters is 女, that will give you another clue. While characters with a meaning related to strength and power (and possibly wealth) are usually for men.
How does the ...
I just made my personal name up and chose a Chinese family name (天) that was a syllable contained in my last name (Sebastian).
My "made up" personal name (云龙) is a modified version of the name of a famous monk (虚云) I didn't want to copy his name directly out of respect.
I figured that seeing as so many Chinese people come here (Australia) and select a ...
About the "乔" part of "George[dʒɔ:dʒ]", you can find some material in the 译音表(the Form of Ttransliteration). Besides, "奇" should be instead of "治" following the form.
However, "约定俗成(the convention)" is one of the important rules of 《英文人名翻译准则》. Everybody often use "乔治" refer to "George", so that "乔治" is agreed upon gradually. Anyway, I don't know why did ...
You probably know something about the intricacies of Chinese names prior to the downfall of the last dynasty, picking names at different stages of life was common among intellectuals.
In the case of Huang Yuanyong, check the Chinese language version of the Wiki article.
Thus, his original name was 为基, his 字 name was 远庸 and ...
How can I learn how to pronounce names of Chinese students?
Short of learning Chinese? Avery suggested learning how to read pinyin. However, this ignores the problem that there are sounds in Chinese that do not exist in English. For instance, following some consonants, pinyin "u" is pronounced like the German "ü". Pinyin "sh" and "x" are both pronounced ...
if he is older than you are, then 柯兄 (柯老兄)
if he is younger, then 老弟 (柯老弟)
if he is of the same age, and his first name consists 2 chinese characters, then first name
if he is of the same age, and his first name consists 1 chinese character, then full name (calling someone by their full name is not rude if they are the same age or younger in China)
You can choose your chinese name by its original meaning or just by how it sounds.
I know people named Alessandro and he picks 三多 as his chinese name, which come from a famous chinese TV series 《士兵突击》. 三多 sounds like a part of Alessandro and regular chinese given name is only one or two characters.
Picking name by meaning like 胜利 to victory isn't bad idea. ...
I think it's just invented by that one restaurant (or some restaurant else before). It's something like paronomasia, and may be seen at some Chinese restaurant, but it's not a famous/typical dish in Chinese dishes.
親子丼 has nothing to do with the Paul Simon song. And 親子丼 is a famous/typical dish at Japan.
BTW: "Mother and Child Reunion" can be translated ...
The pronounciation is the same for the last names.
For example, 華 must pronounce as huà for the family name.
When it is in the first name, it can be pronounced as huā, huá or huà.
He/She can decides it, so we have to ask for the correct pronounciation.
There are a few ways to look at this.
There are some names that are translated so commonly, that people will easily guess your English name (or Spanish name) from your Chinese name. For example, 马克 is Mark, not just because it sounds similar, but also because there is precedent for it. It's similar to translating Jacques in French to Jack in English.
We may sort chinese name into the situations as follow:
1. Contain elements from nature scenery or living beings - mainly for female
ex: last name + 桃(peach, recline to its flower meaning)
Kind of old-fashioned, almost every woman in early 70s 80s has a name like this, ...
For translating foreign name based on pronunciation, there is a rule, which may be different for mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. You can find some celebrity with the same name, looking it in wikipedia and change it to Chinese version.
It will be much difficult if you want to choose a Chinese name, not a translation. Choosing name is an art. It is a ...
To elaborate on Kabie's comments:
In general, the answer is that you never know for sure what is the right translation without further information but only a Pinyin of the name.
However, the clue for guessing the right family names comes from experience in real life for native speakers. E.g. Li is highly probably to be 李, Wang for 王, Zhang for 张, Liu for 刘,...
Some says that "乔治" is very close to George in Shanghainese (上海話) since Shanghai was the big harbor allows international trades in 17th century. Lots of phrases are created/translated at that time. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Pidgin_English
Very easy. Use Wikipedia.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is listed as 沃尔夫冈·阿马德乌斯·莫扎特 on Chinese Wikipedia
Johann Sebastian Bach is 约翰·塞巴斯蒂安·巴赫 in Chinese.
Thomas Alva Edison is transliterated as 托马斯·阿尔瓦·爱迪生 by full name in Chinese.
We could continute, but you see the pattern: [first]·[middle]·[last]
Domestic animals like dog, cat, horse, cow, pig, goat, chicken and duck are often described with a single syllable word in Chinese:
There are few exceptions, For example, snake is not a domestic animal, but it is still being called with the single syllable word 蛇
For other animals, it is customary to use two syllables words to refer them.
There is a computer library ('Wudi gender guesser') to predict the gender of a Chinese name, based on statistics of the use of individual Kanji caracters in Male/Female given names. This approach accounts for both for the meaning and the sound.
There is an online version here
Usually people ask. Like people asking if a person's name is spelled a certain way, most Chinese people ask if it is a certain character. E.g., Your surname is 'Li'? Is that 'Li/李' as in plum (李子) or 'Li/理' as in reason (理由) ?
There are commonly used names, but it's usually better to ask if you don't know. For exercises, the picking the actual character is ...
This is an interesting topics. I will throw in my 2 cents too :D
Many big companies hire PR/Advertising firm to conduct research to create localized name or brand name. Though many times they will end up with phonetic translation, some will get nice semi-phonetic, some of them get lucky with phonetic and poetic.
When I first saw it, I thought it meant fist fist. By the way, I think the same word appearing twice in name usually is only appropriate in girls' names; it makes the name cute. If you are a guy, you probably don't want that.
But there is a 成语（4 word idiom with well known meanings) that says 拳拳之心 (heart of 拳拳) which is an adjective that means forever ...
How to address a person properly depends on a lot factors, but as the rule of thumb, Chinese people like to use 2 characters to address a person.
The reason is that, I guess -
1) using 1 character from the given name sounds intimate (like between lovers),
2) using the person's 1-character surname sound foreign. In English, if a person's surname is Wang, ...